Best Greek Islands for Hiking

Ancient mountain passes winding through dramatic valleys, gentle trails cutting a path through sweet-scented pine forest, stunning coastal walks with views of distant islands in the shimmering Mediterranean – the Greek islands boast some of the very best hiking in Europe.

For anyone who loves strapping on their boots and getting off the beaten track, a walking holiday in Greece as a part of your island hopping adventure is absolutely essential, the only question is where will you start?

In this blog, we’ll outline the best Greek islands for hiking, so that you can enjoy that feeling of exploring on your own two feet, stumbling across magical little beaches and local tavernas you’d never find from the road.

1.     Crete

People walking through samaria gorge

It makes sense that Crete, Greece’s largest and most populous island, would be home to some of the best hiking in the country. Thanks to its size, the island has a stunning array of diverse landscapes and hidden villages to explore.

It’s split into three distinct walking areas: the South Coast, the White Mountains, and the famous gorges which, whilst examples can be found all over the island, are mostly concentrated in the west.

One hike you won’t be able to miss for its fame is Samaria Gorge, and for good reason. With 500m high walls, only a few metres apart at their narrowest point, it’s a magical spot made even more beautiful in the springtime by the blooming of wildflowers.

But there is so much more to discover further off the beaten track, for walkers of all levels, from your ramblers to your mountain climbers. Whether you want to scale a mountain peak and scramble up gnarly precipices or wander down to the beach, a walking holiday in Crete is one you’ll remember.

2.     Amorgos

shipwreck off amorgos in greece

This beautiful little island situated in the Cyclades is another of your best bets for finding beautiful hiking trails, and is a great stop for anyone on a Greek island hopping adventure who wants to find small trails through dramatic mountain scenery, with panoramic views of the sea in all directions.

In fact, the trails are often known as ‘Blue Paths’ by the locals, thanks to their endless sea views, and many of these trails are some of the most dramatic you will find anywhere in Greece.

That said, some paths are so dramatic that you need to take care in high winds as you cross narrow ridges, but if you’re sensible you’ll be rewarded with some seriously exhilarating treks.

Again, there’s a wide variety of walks you can choose from on the island. Whether you want to scale the 821m tall Krokellos, the highest point on the island, stroll down herb bordered paths to the sea, or complete the epic Egiali to Chora hike along the spine of the island, there’s walking and hiking for all levels to be found.

3.     Kefalonia

kefalonia island in greece

Kefalonia is one of the greenest of the Greek islands, which lends itself very nicely to being one of the most ideal islands for hiking. Ancient roads and tracks link hidden beaches and mountain passes, and the split between forest and the huge mountain massifs create a wonderfully varied landscape for walking.

There are numerous marked trails you can find all over the island that don’t simply take in the natural wonders, but also ruined churches and windmills, ancient temples and rustic little villages.

Hike up to a Venetian fortress in Assos, follow a babbling creek through the woods to take a dip in the Potisti waterfalls, or take on the mighty Mount Ainos, the highest peak in the Ionian islands.

Located just off the west coast of mainland Greece, it’s a great spot to stop off during your sailing holiday on an exploration of the Ionian islands thanks to its unspoiled nature and truly beautiful coastal towns.

Popular Greek Holidays


Skiathos, Skopelos and Alonissos Island Hopping Adventure

This is the ultimate tour of the lush, green Sporades Islands in the Aegean Sea. Hop from Alonissos to Skopelos (the isl..


Mykonos, Santorini and Crete Luxury Island Hopping

The ultimate luxury island-hopping adventure in the Cyclades and Crete, discover the local, authentic side to these isla..


Paros, Naxos and Santorini Island Hopping – Join a Small Group

Explore Paros, Naxos and Santorini by boat, bike, sea kayak and on foot. This is the perfect family holiday, where there..


Fun Activity Week in Greece

A week to immerse yourself in a range of mixed activities on the stunning island of Poros. This week provides you with t..

4.     Skiathos

beach in skiathos

Jumping over to the east coast now and the Aegean Sea, Skiathos may be well known as a bit of a party island, but get off the beaten track here and you’ll be rewarded with some well-marked paths taking you through sun-dappled pine forests to any of 60 beaches on the island.

As one of the more touristy islands in Greece, Skiathos has great infrastructure designed to get you easily to trail heads and exploring along well-marked paths.

You can choose anything from a short stroll to the challenging, 30 mile long Skiathos Trail. Whatever you choose, you can be virtually guaranteed beautiful coastal scenery, river valleys, and idyllic villages and chapels.

The heart of the Sporades archipelago attracts thousands of visitors every year, but once you start walking and get away from the built up towns, you’ll discover unique experiences and authentic, local life seen by few who visit.

5.     Lesbos

person hiking in lesbos greece

Known as the home of ouzo, as well as endless olive groves, stunning cuisine and medieval fortress towns and endless views, Lesbos is also home to some excellent hiking as good as any in Greece.

In the south of the country there are a number of wonderful walks that take you past natural springs with drinkable water to ancient olive presses in quiet villages, all along ancient roads and tracks that have acted as the locals’ main transport routes for centuries.

It’s probably the easiest of all these islands for getting off the beaten track and away from the crowds, especially if you head north and west. Here you can find really beautiful oak, rhododendron and ancient trails that thread across this section of the island.

If you’re on the hunt for something a little more extreme, there are a couple of great mountains in Lepetymnos and its very own Olympus that you can scale fairly easily if you want to bag a Greek peak.

Here at Not In The Guidebooks, we are always on the lookout for incredible experiences that get you off the beaten track and away from the crowds. With local guides who know their homes like the back of their hand, you can discover hidden gems most tourists would never find, and return home with truly unique travel memories.

You might also be interested in...

Join our community

Get off the beaten track and support local communities that you visit.

Sign up for inspiriation for your itinerary, new experiences and special offers.